Federale – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – August 20th, 2016


Portland's favorite spaghetti western soundtrack band releasing new album


Luz Elena Mendoza, Kyle Morton

Sat, August 20, 2016

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$12 ADV & $14 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limtied Balcony Seats 

Portland’s own spaghetti western orchestra Federale has always operated under the guidance of a larger story arch. Each of Federale’s three records tells the story of a film imagined through a soundtrack that is real. 2007’s “La Rayar” is a classic tale of betrayal and vengeance. 2009’s “Devil In A Boot” Finds a small town being terrorized by a large railroad company baron’s expansion and destruction. 2012’s “The Blood Flowed Like Wine” tells the supernatural tale of an evil so powerful that not even hell can hold back its wrath.

Along the way Federale’s songs have found there way into real films and television shows. Five songs from “The Blood Flowed..” feature in 2014’s critically acclaimed Iranian feminist vampire film “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.” 2014 also saw Federale’s music featured in a western scene of the Blockbuster “The LEGO Movie.”

Tonight Federale will slow down the pace and explain the stories behind the songs. Helping to bring the listener in closer and contextualize the themes represented in the music. There will be back stories of how some of these songs found there way into some of these real films. And some of the real films that the songs never made it into. Tonight Federale will peel back the curtain.

And watch out for a preview of some material from Federale’s upcoming fourth record!
Luz Elena Mendoza
With Y LA BAMBA, Luzelena Mendoza draws from both her strict Catholic upbringing as an only daughter of a Mexican immigrant and a debilitating illness that led her to fall away from her faith, to create what LA Weekly calls "Devendra Banhart-influenced art-folk with hazy femme vocals and traditional Mexican sounds."

Mendoza's father immigrated to the Bay Area from the Michoacan region of Mexico after meeting her mother who had received her US citizenship as a teenager. Her father got a job at a southern Oregon sawmill and Luzelena would spend her childhood summers on a farm in California's San Joaquin Valley among peach, almond, and fig orchards. It was in these strong Mexican communities that she would soak up the melodies and the stories that were being told while, as she remembers it, "the men with tassel hats" strummed their guitars and sang their traditional folk songs in three part harmonies. "I remember singing along, mimicking my father's voice and dancing like a little wild child," she recalls. For Mendoza, this music was the only way she could relate to her father, and was a bright spot in a rough childhood.

In 2003, Mendoza traveled to New Zealand and India, in a quest for a deeper understanding of her spiritual growth as an active Christian, hungry for the tools to create a shift on this planet. During her trip to India, she contracted amoebic dysentery and giardia, causing her to suffer from insomnia, lose 60 pounds and fear her loss of sanity. "It shook me in ways I was not expecting, leading me to struggle with my prayer life and search for a healthy relationship with God, the universe, and with myself," says Mendoza of her condition (which was only complicated with a misdiagnosis). "I gave up on Christianity and what religion was starting to mean to me due to a natural awareness that was knocking on my door."

Upon her return to the US, she took in a white six-toed cat to keep her company as she fought to regain her physical, emotional and spiritual health. She christened her new feline companion La Bamba, a name that she incorporated into a moniker for her home recordings and performances at open mic nights in her new home, Portland. Bassist and vocalist Ben Meyercord caught some of Mendoza's open mic performances and the two quickly found a musical connection. In a whirlwind week that she said happened magically, Mendoza recruited Mike Kitson on drums and David Kyle on guitar. Luzelena played in an Ashland band with Kitson when she wanted a more quiet alternative to her early punk roots and Kyle was a musician she met online that shared her spiritual and eccentric philosophies. Intuition told her that she was going to meet the final piece in her musical puzzle and, sure enough, she stumbled upon accordion player Eric Schrepel playing the squeezebox at a puppet show.

With a raw songbook of home recordings under her belt and a new group of musicians to help Mendoza with her musical vision, Y LA BAMBA began to captivate audiences in Portland and tour stops around the US. Eventually, the quintet would attract the attention of The Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk, who offered his production skills for the band's first studio recording. Funk worked tirelessly to capture Y LA BAMBA's rustic tones, songs inspired by the traditional tunes of Mendoza's childhood, and her signature vocals that resemble the sounds spilling out of a 1930's Victrola. Dubbing the confidently stunning body of songs Lupon (after a nickname that Mendoza's father despised), Y LA BAMBA has emerged from the studio, ready to wow listeners everywhere. Lupon will be available during the fall of 2010 on Tender Loving Empire.
Kyle Morton